An exercise ball can be one of your greatest allies when working out. Despite its simple appearance, it can play a variety of roles and even help people with various injuries tone their muscles and get back on track. That being said, learning how to properly use one in order to maximize its utility is essential, so let's review a few of the most common things you need to take into account when working out with an exercise ball:
1. Pick Out the Right Ball
An exercise ball's size is determined first and foremost by your height. When you sit on it, both feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. This makes testing out an exercise ball mandatory before purchasing it, since sizes can vary quite significantly, ranging from 45cm all the way to 75cm.
2. Deflate the Ball Slightly
A fully inflated exercise ball will generally make your exercises harder and take a bigger toll on your joints and muscles. When you're just starting out, be sure to lower the ball's air pressure a bit. You know you've hit the mark when the exercise ball can hold your weight, but still has some bounce to it. As you progress and get stronger, feel free to increase air pressure accordingly.
3. Have Plenty of Room at Your Disposal
Using an exercise ball can be a bit messy at first, as you'll likely struggle to retain balance and may even slip off the ball on occasion. For that reason, it's best to do your exercises in an open environment that's free of sharp or heavy objects that may hurt and injure you. Try aiming for at least a few meters of space in all directions if possible.
4. Remember to Breathe During Exercises
It may sound simple, but regular breathing often eludes people who are caught in the throes of a heavy-duty workout. As a general rule of thumb, inhaling should be done through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. The trick is to do so rhythmically while you work out, taking great care not to rush the breath and focusing instead on slow and even breathing.
5. Use It as a Chair
A popular trend among fitness gurus and workout fans has been to use an exercise ball in place of an everyday chair. This way you can increase your balance and strengthen your core muscles while doing other activities such as reading or working on the computer. With that in mind, it's important to opt for an exercise ball that allows your elbows stay at a 90-degree angle while doing your activities, and to refrain from using it for more than 20 minutes at a time with 30 minute breaks in-between.
As you can see, having an exercise ball around can make all the difference in the world when you're seeking to get fit and eliminate bad posture problems. If you're still not sure which ball is perfect for you or need assistance in learning how to use one, feel free to consult a dedicated trainer from the Five Seasons Family Sports Club and get started on reaching your fitness goals immediately.